In nearly six short months from now, the Buffalo Bills will be fighting for victories on the field in regular season NFL action. Even though the 2018 NFL regular season is about half a year away, there's still plenty going on throughout the league to keep fans entertained.
Here's some intel on the Bills opponents in 2018 to keep your football fancies in check. The following teams combined for a record of 103-105 in 2017. !(http://bufbills.co/hUmHbz)
Home:Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, Jacksonville Jaguars, Los Angeles Chargers, Tennessee Titans, Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots, New York Jets.
Away:Baltimore Ravens, Green Bay Packers, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Minnesota Vikings, Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots, New York Jets.
What's new:The Bears made Matt Nagy their head coach to replace John Fox.
What's needed:They seriously need to solidify their offensive line for franchise quarterback Mitchell Trubisky. Chicago was sacked 47 times last season, which was the seventh-most in the league.
What the Bills have to prepare for:Defense is always the Bears bread-and-butter. Per usual, they were a top-10 unit in 2017.
What's new:After a successful 14-year stint with the Patriots, Matt Patricia moved on to become the Lions next head coach.
What's needed:Detroit desperately must address the running back position, which ranked dead last with a total of 1,221 rushing yards in 2017.
What the Bills have to prepare for:It's typically going to be a shootout against Detroit and quarterback Matthew Stafford. They ranked fourth in passing touchdowns (29) and sixth in passing yards (4,183) from this past season.
What's new:On Friday, the Jaguars signed executive vice president Tom Coughlin, General Manager Dave Caldwell, and head coach Doug Marrone to contract extensions through 2021. The following day, quarterback Blake Bortles received a three-year, $54 million extension.
What's needed:Now that Bortles is locked up, he needs some receivers. Two of his top targets, Allen Robinson and Marqise Lee, are set to become free agents.
What the Bills have to prepare for:They're not called "Sacksonville" for nothing. They tallied 55 sacks in 2017, one off the league lead.
Los Angeles Chargers
What's new:The Bolts brought in a new wide receivers' coach, Phil McGeoghan, who held that same title for the Bills in 2017.
What's needed:LA needs to add a run stopper to the interior of their defensive line. They ranked 31st in average rushing yards per game (131.1) a season ago.
What the Bills have to prepare for:Get ready for a battle at the line of scrimmage. The Chargers racked up the fifth-most sacks (43) in 2017 and allowed the fewest sacks (18).
What's new:Though the Titans earned a wild-card win in the playoffs, they hired Mike Vrabel as Mike Mularkey's successor.
What's needed:Tennessee needs to improve at offensive guard. They have studs at both tackles (Jack Conklin and Taylor Lewan), but need some help alongside them.
What the Bills have to prepare for:New defensive coordinator Dean Pees' defense was disruptive for Baltimore last season. Look for that to translate to Tennessee's defense in 2018.
What's new:Don 'Wink' Martindale will take over as defensive coordinator, after former coordinator Dean Pees retired and less than a month later was named Tennessee's DC.
What's needed:The Ravens must find weapons for Joe Flacco. They ranked 23rd in receiving touchdowns (20) and 29th in receiving yards (3,235) in 2017.
What the Bills have to prepare for:It hasn't been an issue, but Buffalo has to protect the football against Baltimore. Last season, the Ravens had the best turnover differential (17) and the most takeaways (34) in the league.
What's new:The Packers have hired a new offensive and defensive coordinators in Joe Philbin and Mike Pettine.
What's needed:Green Bay needs to add a complementary pass rusher to help veteran Clay Matthews and help in the secondary after finishing 23rd against the pass and 28th in third down defense.
What the Bills have to prepare for:Assuming his season isn't again plagued by injury, it's still all about slowing down Aaron Rodgers isn't it?
What's new:The Texans recently released their all-time leading tackler, linebacker Brian Cushing.
What's needed:Houston desperately needs to stay healthy. DeShaun Watson, C.J. Fiedorowicz, J.J. Watt, Whitney Mercilus, and many more were placed on injured reserve early in the 2017 season.
What the Bills have to prepare for:If they're healthy, you have to game plan for the three-headed monster of Jadeveon Clowney, Mercilus, and Watt.
What's new:Former Bills quarterback, Frank Reich, will be a first-year coach for Indy in 2018.
What's needed:The Colts need to address their inability to pressure the quarterback this offseason. They totaled 25 sacks in 2017, ranking 31st in the league.
What the Bills have to prepare for:It's all about Andrew Luck and if he can find his way back on the field for this upcoming season.
What's new:After Pat Shurmur was hired as the Giants head coach, the Vikings named John DeFilippo as his replacement at offensive coordinator.
What's needed:Sam Bradford, Teddy Bridgewater, and Case Keenum are all free agents, so Minnesota has a decision to make regarding their future quarterback. It's likely one of the three will be franchise tagged.
What the Bills have to prepare for:Points will be hard to come by against this pesky defense, as they ranked first in points per game (15.8) and yards per game (275.9) in 2017.
What's new:The Dolphins hired Dowell Loggains as offensive coordinator after being dismissed by the Bears.
What's needed:They need to tend to their offensive line in the upcoming draft and free agency, especially the guard positions.
What the Bills have to prepare for:The return of Ryan Tannehill after he missed the entirety of 2017 with a season-ending knee injury.
What's new:For the first time since 2004, Matt Patricia won't be on the sidelines for the Patriots.
What's needed:Their run defense definitely could be revamped. They allowed the sixth-most rushing touchdowns (16) and were 21st in rushing yards per attempt (4.2).
What the Bills have to prepare for:He'll be 41-years-old in August, but Tom Brady is undoubtedly still New England's biggest weapon.
New York Jets
What's new:The Jets promoted quarterbacks coach Jeremy Bates to offensive coordinator and named former Bills OC Rick Dennison as the offensive line coach/run game coordinator.
What's needed:A franchise quarterback. They have a significant amount of cap space to get in on the Kirk Cousins sweepstakes.
What the Bills have to prepare for:Two shutdown safeties. The Jets selected Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye with their first two draft picks in 2017 and they didn't disappoint.